Let’s stop being nice

October 29, 2015

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

I am so sick of people pretending to be nice. So

let’s stop being nice.

We don’t tell our sons to be nice (we teach them to be kind). I do not aspire to raise nice children. I don’t even try to BE nice anymore and I do not care if people think I am nice or not (OK, I try not to care).

To me, nice is saying “bless her heart” when you really mean “that poor thing.”


Nice people pretend to care about others when they really just want the inside scoop so they can judge them and feel better about their own state of affairs.

Nice is all you’ve got left when you can’t grow up and get real.

We all know the people that everyone thinks is sooooo nice…but underneath their carefully-constructed disguise, they’re actually more devious, selfish and/or insecure than the mean people.

I hate “nice.”


In fact, this is one of my many Tab-isms is, “Nice only goes so far.”As always, I have a story.


I was participating in a women’s Bible study several years ago when a woman mentioned that she’d been invited to a direct sales home party and told the hostess she would “try to come” even though she had no intention of going. Why? She was “trying to be nice.”

It was early in the morning and my filter wasn’t on yet for the day.

“That’s actually not very nice,” I pointed out to her.

The ladies in our group paused and laughed. We all knew it was true!

As a frequent hostess myself, I elaborated. “The consultant for the company thinks a certain number will be there. The hostess is counting on you to be there and possibly even to buy.  She’s planning for chairs and for food and maybe even for childcare. So saying you’re going and not showing up is actually kind of mean.”

Even I was struck by the brevity of that reality.

She thought an easy “Yes, sure, I can make it!” was being nice.

We’ve all been there.

Around the same time as the above incident, I was asked to help start up a new ministry at church. It was going to be a great ministry and the leader was someone I liked so I said, “Sure!” I didn’t want to let them down (especially because they asked me in person) and I really did wish I could do it. I knew I was already stretched too thin and had no business taking on a new responsbility.

Remembering the conversation about how a ‘yes’ that we know will ultimately be a ‘no’ is NOT nice, as quickly as I realized I couldn’t do it and even before the team’s first meeting, I got the guts to call him and say, “You know what? I said ‘yes’ without thinking. I’m going to have to pass on this one.” I felt goofy for seeming to change my mind so quickly, but I knew that the ‘nice’ thing to do was backing out before I caused anyone inconvenience.


Imagine the alternative: Someone invites you to something that you’re really not interested in. You say, “Y’know what, I really can’t make it.” THAT is real. Sure, she may be disappointed for a moment, but isn’t that “nicer” than letting her down on the day of her event?!?

The woman I mentioned above who was “trying to be nice” was merely trying to avoid confrontation, or trying to save face. It had nothing to do with “being nice” to her friend.

The NICE thing to do would have been to graciously decline.

That experience caused me to think about “nice” in a whole new way.

It seemed nice at the time. It looked like the nice thing to do.

That is my problem with “nice:” it’s often fake.

There are many times that all of us disguise our own insecurities, hang-ups and immaturities behind being “nice.”

But when the end result is the other person being disappointed, hurt and/or inconvenienced, it’s not very nice at all!

So let’s stop being nice. Let’s get real and act like adults. Say no and stick to it. You don’t even have to explain!

Here’s one thing to keep in mind, though: if we’re going to act like adults and stop pretending to be nice, we have to get honest with each other…and that means, when someone tells you “I really can’t,” you have to let it go, not demand an explanation and not take it personally.

[tweetthis]We have to all be in the ‘stop being nice’ movement together. @tabithadumas[/tweetthis]

I would much rather you be real with me than be ‘nice.’ I hope you feel the same way.

I’d be delighted if you would pin and share!

Get real. Stop being 'nice.' By tabithad.sg-host.com



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